Monthly Archives: September 2008

slow, but steady

Yikes. I’m running late leaving the house [again!] and DVA is taking us on some “field trip” of sorts.
I’ve been processing this project for, what, two weeks now?
I know what I don’t want my product to be like and I know what I do want it to be like, but still no “category” or concrete “description”.
I like products that serve more than one purpose – like a necklace that serves as a magnifying glass, or the bookshelfing unit that doubles as a step-stool on the bottom portion.
I’ve found some products that are pretty smart, but aren’t pretty.
And then there’s the simplest of things, like a pill slider reminder – using the simplest ‘technology’ to solve a simple problem.
I also really dig this planter that uses simple and recognizable medical technology to solve the problem of forgetting to water plants.
I’m interested in mobility, furniture, lamps, and smaller carry-along products – like a pill box I found that allows for the day container to snap out and be carried along with the person for the rest of the day. The older man that came in said that the pill box has a dual purpose – it holds their pills, but it also reminds them what day it is.
I’m starting to feel a little better.

“Marilyn Monroe is dead”

I’m brain-blocked.
Digging this stuff I found, tho
1. a shelf system that also doubles as a ladder/step-stool deal
2. & 3. sweet wood and metal bracelets

Materials class kinda got me down today since Leffler started the class by telling us that “when” terrorists strike again, all of us ID kids will need new careers. I talked about it a little with Jes at dinner, but I don’t feel any better. Design is so subjective and so overlooked. It’s frustrating when people try to tell me that all I do is doodle and that my major is silly [or they make it seem that way when the guffaw at projects].
They clearly don’t understand how industrial design impacts the world.
Remember the dust-buster? The easier-to-hold Gatorade bottle? The Studebaker Avanti?
You’re welcome.
So I guess what it means to be a designer is to understand that we are everyday superheroes, and that we do have the ability, power, and responsibility to change the world – but we have to understand that not everyone will appreciate what we do for them, and that our work will often be behind the scenes and almost unaccounted for (but probably remembered years after we’re gone, like some of the great artists).

I know people think they know what it means to have studio, but they don’t.
And I don’t care how many freaking lab classes you take, or what it was like for you in college, or how HARD it is for you to sit on a couch and write papers; what we do is just different.

I still don’t have a ‘direction’, but I feel like I’m finally creeping towards the edge of something more concrete somehow.
I am tired (and apparently whiney).
I want to do a thousand things at once.

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airing it out.

“Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with old age. Nothing does – except wrinkles. It’s true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place. ” (Abagail Van Buren)
[WARNING: This is a giant post!]
Arnold Palmer is the most amazing thing I’ve ever had – lemonade + sweet tea. Sweet tea by itself isn’t really my favorite, but the second you add lemonade the whole world changes. I’ve been thinking more about the role that designers and products play in people’s lives – especially as we age and make that transition from being independent and young to needing ‘assistive technology.’ I know it might be vain of me, but I think designers are pretty freaking important. We serve as creators, givers, liaisons between engineers and customers, and everyday superheroes. It’s almost like we get to play a little bit of God by being able to improve people’s lives and change they way they feel when they wake up in the morning. A simple design like the walker gave an elderly person hope, happiness, and the ability to get up and go places. Not to mention that most of the general population is rather oblivious to what an “industrial designer” is, and we do a lot of great work in a behind-closed-doors fashion.When I was previously thinking about why I wanted to become a designer, I focused on my own selfish reasoning and what lead to me choosing the career that I have, and although it is a perfect blend of creativity and problem solving, it’s also about caring about the people that surround me.
We have the power to change the world with our designs. That’s a pretty big deal.
Continue reading

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go granny, go granny, go

So, here’s a moment for me to be rather honest:
I am not excited about this project and I’m having difficulty thinking about it because growing old is one of my fears. I know its natural and normal to be old, but I am in no way looking forward to it so I don’t like thinking about it or discussing it. Not to say I don’t love older people; my family is great, and all power to them for being so vibrant and healthy and wonderful (my grandfather is one of my heroes for being so brave and so vigilent, and my great grandmother is 99 and freaking awesome). I’m just personally disgusted at the thought of my body falling apart more than it already has…

But in an attempt to get down to business: Continue reading

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can’t nail them to the wall

What does it mean to be a designer?

Everytime I get asked that question, I immediately say, “I don’t know.”
I don’t know. I’m shaking my head right now.

I’ve been trying to answer this question since the first day of this semester, when we had to fill out those ID surveys – or more like, I’ve been trying to concisely and eloquently answer this question since then.

I guess the true story goes a little like this: Continue reading

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la musica

Of course I pump beats to pump out design. I’m the kind of kid that still listens to Backstreet Boys in her car when she’s stressed out [i.e. today]. Speaking of music, I had a blast @ The Drunken Unicorn last night with Does it Offend You, Yeah? and the band that opened for them with their sweeeet light show. Speaking of sweet music stuff related to sick design and technology, check out the Tenori-on – a ridic sound-generating light board thingy I want real bad [despite not being able to eloquently describe it].

Here’s a sampling of my Project 1 playlist:
Third Eye Blind – “Crystal Baller”
Staind – “Believe”
MGMT – “Electric Feel”
Does it Offend You, Yeah? – “Let’s Make Out” and “We are Rockstars”
Beachtitti – “Discobelle” and “Summermix_01”
Girl Talk ‘Feed the Animals’ album
Bayside – “Baby Britain (acoustic)”
Hot Chippppp
Jimmy Eat World ‘Chase This Light’ album
assorted Le Castle Vania, MSTRKRFT, Chromeo, and othersssss

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the geeks were right

The AWARE house is a super cute grey, three level Victorian house in the middle of Home Park that has a crazy amount of expensive technology. I think part of the reason why its taken me so long to process the way I feel about our class field trip there is because most of the students in studio have such strong opinions one way or the other. Most of the prototypes are aimed at improving “family” life, so a lot of devices to help keep track of things like motion sensors, video cameras, RFID-tagged medicine bottles with a ‘magic mirror’ deal are installed in the house. Overall, I think that their ideas are decent, but their execution, and possibly their research, miss the mark. For instance, one idea to improve communication at a retirement village is to create a network of wireless notepad devices with the same essential features as Facebook. The notepad would have one “community” side and one “private” side, and would invite communication and instill a sense of community with the residents. As wonderful as a wireless, touch screen, dual-sided electronic note pad would be… I just feel really uneasy about whether or not the current residents in retirement and nursing home communities would use it [i.e. my 99 year old great grandmother and my grandparents].

I’m glad we’ve finally started the ball rolling on project 2. I’m really not a fan of too much downtime between projects because I know the work will pile up eventually, whether or not we take a week off before hand. Thus far I feel a little apprehensive about the project because it seems sooo open-ended and vague, but I’m also feeling a little reassured that it isn’t due until the 26th or so. Without having done too much research yet, the only idea I’ve magically brainstormed is that of some sort of ‘personal shopping assistant’ to help older people/people that can’t see crazy well in large stores with vague signage and bright lights like Wal-Mart.

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what’s on your feet?

Can I design shoes with my ID degree?
I love shoes, y’all.

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